"What are you doing Si?" I shouted as I saw Louise's gun in his hand, aimed straight at the police officer's head.
"We can discuss this later Flo," he replied, his voice surprisingly strong, especially as I could see his hands shaking as he fought to keep his arm pointed threateningly at the police officer. "Now would you please leave the van," he repeated to the officer.
"Where did you get that weapon?" The policeman asked cautiously, not moving from his position in the doorway of the van.
"That's none of your business," Silas responded, not taking his eyes off his target. "I'm not going to ask you again; leave the vehicle."
"I cannot let you drive around the country with an unlicensed weapon."
"The gun has a license," Louise jumped in, trying to take the focus away from Silas. "It's mine."
"Louise, don't," Silas ordered, taking Louise aback. I might not like the woman and I still thought she had other motives for being here, but I did feel sorry for her in that moment when Silas snapped at her. Her face fell and she suddenly looked incredibly vulnerable, like she'd just been slapped.
"And what gives you the right to have a gun?" The officer asked of Louise.
"Leave her out of this," Silas snarled protectively, his anger sending shivers down my spine. I'd never seen him like this and it terrified me. I didn't recognise the friend I knew and loved. "This has nothing to do with her."
"Come on Si," I said, trying to be reassuring. "Give me the gun and I'm sure we'll be able to work something out like reasonable people."
"Yeah Silas," Aimee backed me up. "This isn't going to solve anything."
"It might get this idiot out of our van so we can move on."
"Please Silas," Louise said, standing on his other side and putting her hand gently on his shoulder. "Put the gun down."
Silas's face weakened under Louise's touch, the corners of his mouth losing their tension and his hands stopped shaking. For a moment I thought he would lower the gun and we could find some way to talk ourselves out of this. But then he stiffened again and his grip on the gun tightened.
"I can't turn back now."
"You can always turn back, you haven't passed the point of no return but you will if you don't put the gun down." I reached out and put my hand on top of the hand that was clasping the gun.
"Flossie don't touch me."
Suddenly everything went into slow motion. With his spare hand, Silas pushed me away so I staggered backwards, first into Aimee, then Harry so the three of us hit the wall of the van. At the same time the police officer advanced, I assumed to take the gun off Silas while he was distracted.
But Silas saw the policeman approaching, his eyes filled up with fear and his hand tightened slightly on the trigger, adrenaline clearly pumping through his veins and taking control. It didn't look like there was enough pressure on the trigger to fire it.
But I was wrong.
The road echoed with the resounding bang that shot from the gun once it had been fired. Both Louise and I screamed. Aimee couldn't see anything or I was sure she would have cried out too as the police officer fell to the ground, blood oozing from a hole in his forehead.
Silas stared at the gun in his hand, completely shellshocked by what had just happened.
None of us knew what to do.
"What have I done?" Silas breathed as he stared helplessly at the blood beginning to pool on the floor of the van. "I didn't want to kill him, just scare him enough so he would leave us alone. Shit, what have I done?!"